National Day of Angola
Declaration of Independence (when is Independence Day)
Angola gained independence from Portugal on 11 November 1975. Dr. Agostinho Neto was the first President of Angola.
During the first millennium, the Bantu migrants entered the region. Later, the Portuguese, attracted by the stories of mythical silver mines, settled along the coast. The economy of Angola was dominated by the slave trade, captured from African kingdoms such as Loango. The trend for acquiring slaves continued even after it was abolished within the Portuguese Empire in 1875. In 1960, the Belgian Congo gained its independence leading to anti-colonial movements in Angola. However, the liberation movements here were supported by the Cold War rivals – the US and the Soviet Union. Angola gained its freedom in 1975; however, the conditions did not change for the better, as opposing liberation movements announced themselves the ruling party. Despite many attempts at peace negotiations, the civil war continued officially till 2002.
The translated version of the national anthem is:
Oh Fatherland, we shall never forget
The heroes of the Fourth of February.
Oh Fatherland, we salute your children
Who died for our Independence.
We honor the past and our History,
Through our work, we build the New Man.
Revolution through the power of the People!
A United Country, Freedom,
One People, one Nation!
Let us raise our liberated voices
For the glory of the peoples of Africa.
We shall march, Angolan fighters,
In solidarity with oppressed peoples.
We shall fight proudly for Peace
Along with the progressive forces of the world.
As most of the native arts were banned at the time of the war, you will generally find displays of visual arts, dance, and music at Independence Day celebrations in Angola. In fact, the contemporary culture of Angola focuses on expressive dance and music, particularly the sensuous Kizomba and electric Kuduro. On the eve of Independence Day you’ll find a huge display of artworks; depicting the beautiful culture of Angola.
Let us now take a look at some of the facts associated with Angola:
- Angola extends for over 1609 km along the South Atlantic in the south-western region of Africa
- It went through a transition from a one-party socialist state to multiparty democracy in 1992
- Khoisan speakers are the original inhabitants
- Angola got its name from the Bantu realm of Ndongo
- Discovered by Diego Cão; a Portuguese navigator, it turned out to be an important link between Southeast Asia and India
- The prominent nationalist organizations were the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA); the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA); and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
- Due to the ratification of the 2008 Constitution of Angola, the Prime Minister’s position was abolished in 2012.
- Angola is the second largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa.